In the near future, says Carl Djerassi, the 91-year-old co-inventor of the birth control pill, more women in their twenties will freeze their eggs for invitro fertilization” (IVF) and save them for later. Then sex will be more fun, he says, because there will be no pressure to beat the biological clock and breed by age 35.
Djerassi, who developed the oral contraceptive pill in the 1950’s, which was approved for use in 1960, says that advances in fertility treatments have made freezing eggs and sperm a safer option. Freezing your baby making DNA when you are young he says, is healthier than having children the old fashioned way when you get older. “Women in their twenties will first choose this approach as insurance, providing them with freedom in the light of professional decisions” he says.
“In 1950 nobody was asking about birth control. It was after World War 2 and people needed to have children,” he says. “However the 60’s came and suddenly there was rock ‘n roll and the hippie movement and the real flowering of the women’s movement and they all had a sense of sexual liberation.”
His new autobiography “In Retrospect, from the pill to the pen” has just been published.
Photo: Carl Djerassi (right) at Stanford University, where he taught Chemistry from 1959-2002.